Feb 11, 2013 5:00pm EST
to provide a voice of the world. last week's european council agreed the overall limit on eu spending for the next seven years, starting in 2014. been agreed in the past, spending has gone up, but last week we agreed that spending should come down. by working with like-minded allies, we delivered a real- terms cut in what brussels can spend for the first time in history. as the house knows, the eu budget is negotiated annually, so what we were negotiating -- initially at the council last november and again last week -- was not the individual annual budgets, but rather the overall framework for the next seven years. this includes the overall ceilings on what can be spent -- effectively, the limit on the european union's credit card for the next seven years. during the last negotiation, which covered the period 2007 to 2013, the last government agreed to an 8% increase in the payments ceiling, to 943 billion. put simply, this gave the eu a credit card with a higher limit, and today we are still living with the results of allowing the eu's big spenders to push for more and more spending
Feb 4, 2013 4:00am EST
, that's the last thing the eu or the eurozone needs right now. just when we get the signal of the panic button in the eurozone debt crisis, we have another cloud on the horizon. but that's nothing angela merkel can influence. i'm sure it's going to be a topic of discussion saying, look, is this going to be a government crisis? can you avert this? that is nothing we will hear about. the official communique will sound similar to what we heard out of paris, out of the monte meeting. don't expect a result on this budget summit yet on the table and on we go to the next rendezvous in terms of the budgets. we've got another eu summit in march, which is not -- which is not ear marked, of course, as a budget meeting, but i daresay we will trickle along nicely or unnicely until finally they reach an agreement on the next budget. in terms of the eurozone debt crisis, of course, that's the other point of discussion. at the moment, there's a little bit of cautious shoulder padd g padding, but it will be a bit more cautious because of the aforementioned festering crisis in spain. obviously, what we'